On a rainy night in Colorado, there was hope amongst the San Diego Padres as Eric Lauer was all set to make his major league debut. After a short rain delay, the Colorado Rockies would spoil the debut of Lauer as they took advantage of some early wildness and shutdown the Padres 8-0. Let’s look at some takeaways from the game:
Lauer gets his parade rained on
The Padres gave an early challenge to their 2016 first-round pick; to make his Major League debut in the hitter’s paradise known as Coors Field against one of the most potent lineups in the league. Lauer responded to the challenge, but he must’ve been feeling the jitters as he was wild with his control and couldn’t bait the Rockies hitters into swinging at pitches outside the zone.
The first inning saw two unearned runs cross the plate after a single and back-to-back walks loaded up the bases. A Chris Iannetta ground ball could’ve resulted in a double play, but Jose Pirela couldn’t make the throw to first baseman Chase Headley, and the ball skipped away as the runs crossed the plate.
Lauer would get snakebitten by his control again in the second inning. After sandwiching a single in between two outs, Lauer couldn’t find the third out and allowed the bases to be loaded up again, walking Nolan Arenado to fill the bases with Rockies. Trevor Story made him pay, launching a 1-1 offering into the cold Colorado air and parking it into the bleachers in left-center field.
Lauer would get through one more inning before getting pulled in the fourth for reliever Adam Cimber. The Rockies were not fooled by Lauer, and welcomed him to the big leagues by ganging up on him for seven runs (six earned) on six hits while collecting four walks. Chalk up Lauer’s performance to a bad case of butterflies as he will get more chances to earn his keep in the Majors.
The offense disappeared
The Padres offense, after exploding for thirteen runs last night, suddenly became non-existent on a night where Christian Villanueva (hamstring) and Eric Hosmer (family medical leave) were unavailable. Mustering up a measly four hits and two walks, the offense was anemic on a night when their pitcher needed them the most.
What may have been the most frustrating was the twelve strikeouts the Padres racked up. The main culprit was Franchy Cordero, who earned himself the illustrious Golden Sombrero by striking out four times in the game. The only excusable strikeout belonged to Cimber, a reliever who was only up to the plate as to not waste a pinch hitter and let him go on another inning. The young core must start looking at more pitches as to get to better hitting counts. If not, their will be more nights like this one.
Bullpen stays strong
On a more positive note, the Padres’ bullpen remained strong on a night they were called on again in the early innings. Cimber only gave up one run in the two innings he pitched, while Kazuhisa Makita and Phil Maton threw three combined innings of shutout relief. The trio threw a combined seven strikouts while only walking a single batter.
The bullpen has been as reliable as ever, but it has been far too often that Andy Green has had to call upon them in the early innings while being down. The starters must do their part of going deep into ballgames so the bullpen can do their part of shutting down offenses and winning games.